Haruki Murakami Quotes 1–30 of 43 Quotes

Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹 Murakami Haruki, born 12 January 1949) is a best-selling contemporary Japanese writer. His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards, both in Japan and internationally, including the World Fantasy Award (2006) and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award (2006), while his whole oeuvre garnered the Franz Kafka Prize (2006), the Jerusalem Prize (2009), and the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize (2016) among others.

Below are 30 of 43 sourced Haruki Murakami quotes. Sources and related information appear under each quote. Use the 'Cite this quote' link to get citation references.

“I said this one day to the doctor in charge of my case, and he told me that, in a sense, what I was feeling was right, that we are in here not to correct the deformation but to accustom ourselves to it: that one of our problems was our inability to recognize and accept our own deformities. Just as each person has certain idiosyncrasies in the way he or she walks, people have idiosyncrasies in the way they think and feel and see things, … "”

— Haruki Murakami

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Source: Wikiquote: "Haruki Murakami" (Quotes)

“In a letter from Naoko, Norwegian Wood”

— Haruki Murakami

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Source: Wikiquote: "Haruki Murakami" (Quotes)

“Painful is the stress when one cannot reproduce or convey vividly to others, however hard he tries, what he's experienced so intensely. In my case, the stronger is the intention to "write about a particular subject in a particular way," the harder it becomes to start writing and to express myself. This stress somewhat resembles the irritation one feels when he cannot describe to another person what he experienced so vividly and realistically in his dreams. All words I use to narrate my feeling of the moment fail incessantly to describe what I wish to, and then they begin to betray me.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: "A Long Way from The Stuffed Cabbage" (short story)

“The world would be a pretty dull place if it were made up only of the first-rate, right?”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: "Man-Eating Cats"

“Mediocrity is like a spot on your shirt, it never comes off.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: Dance Dance Dance (1988)

“"likewesaid, we'lldowhatwecan. Trytoreconnectyou, towhatyouwant," said the Sheep Man. "Butwecan'tdoit-alone. Yougottaworktoo. Sittingsnotgonnadoit, thinking'snotgonnadoit." "So what do I have to do?" "Dance," said the Sheep Man. "Yougottadance. Aslongasthemusicplays. Yougotta dance. Don'teventhinkwhy. Starttothink, yourfeetstop. Yourfeetstop, wegetstuck. Wegetstuck, you'restuck. Sodon'tpayanymind, nomatterhowdumb. Yougottakeepthestep. Yougottalimberup. Yougottaloosenwhatyoubolteddown. Yougottauseallyougot. Weknowyou're tired, tiredandscared. Happenstoeveryone, ok? Justdon'tletyourfeetstop."”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: Dance Dance Dance

“But I didn't understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: South of the Border, West of the Sun (1992)

“Even castles in the sky can do with a fresh coat of paint.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: South of the Border, West of the Sun

“You burn barns. I don't burn barns. There's this glaring difference, and to me, rather than say which of us is strange, first of all I'd like to clear up just what that difference is.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: "Barn Burning"(short story) in The Elephant Vanishes (1993)

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“And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal in their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they're nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we'd be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: Sputnik Sweetheart

“You are a beautiful person, Doctor. Clearheaded. Strong. But you seem always to be dragging your heart along the ground. From now on, little by little, you must prepare yourself to face death. If you devote all of your future energy to living, you will not be able to die well. You must begin to shift gears, a little at a time. Living and dying are, in a sense, of equal value.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: "Thailand", from After the Quake (1999)

“People's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn't matter as far the maintenance of life is concerned. They are all just fuel. Advertising filler in the news paper, philosophy books, dirty pictures in a magazine, a bundle of ten-thousand-yen bills; when you feed them to fire, they are just paper. The fire isn't thinking 'oh This is Kant' or 'Oh This is Yomuri evening edition' or 'Nice tits', while it burns. To the fire, they are nothing but scraps of paper. It is the exact same thing. Important memories , not-so-important memories, totally useless memories : there is no distinction — they are all just fuel”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: After Dark (2004)

“Numbers aren’t the important thing … what matters is deciding in your heart to accept another person completely. When you do that, it is always the first time and the last.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: "The Kidney-shaped Stone that Moves Every Day" (translated by Jay Rubin), from Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (2005)

“I don't care about the time I run. I can try all I want, but I doubt I'll ever be able to run the way I used to. I'm ready to accept that. It's not one of your happier realities, but that's what happens when you get older. Just as I have my own role to play, so does time. And time does its job much more faithfully, much more accurately, than I ever do. Ever since time began (when was that, I wonder?), it's been moving ever forward without a moment's rest. And one of the privileges given to those who've avoided dying young is the blessed right to grow old. The honour of physical decline is waiting, and you have to get used to that reality.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: What I Talk about When I Talk about Running (2009)

“Seeing a lot of water like that every day is probably an important thing for human beings. For human beings might be a bit of a generalization—but I do know it’s important for one person: me. If I go for a time without seeing water, I feel like something’s slowly draining out of me. It’s probably like the feeling a music lover has when, for whatever reason, he’s separated from music for a long time. The fact that I was raised near the sea might have something to do with it.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: What I Talk about When I Talk about Running (2009)

“If there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg. Why? Because each of us is an egg, a unique soul enclosed in a fragile egg. Each of us is confronting a high wall. The high wall is the system which forces us to do the things we would not ordinarily see fit to do as individuals . . . We are all human beings, individuals, fragile eggs. We have no hope against the wall: it's too high, too dark, too cold. To fight the wall, we must join our souls together for warmth, strength. We must not let the system control us -- create who we are. It is we who created the system.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: Jerusalem Prize acceptance speech, (2009)

“The elevator continued its impossibly slow ascent. Or at least I imagined it was ascent. There was no telling for sure: it was so slow that all sense of direction simply vanished. It could have been going down for all I knew, or maybe it wasn’t moving at all. But let’s just assume it was going up. Merely a guess. Maybe I’d gong up twelve stories, then down three. Maybe I’d circled the globe. How would I know?”

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#18

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Opening paragraph, Chapter One

“If your confusion leads you in the right direction, the results can be uncommonly rewarding.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter One

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“Many are the women who can take their clothes off seductively, but women who can charm as they dress?”

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#21

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter Nine: Appetite, Disappointment, Leningrad

“Now for a good twelve-hour sleep, I told myself. Twelve solid hours. Let birds sing, let people go to work. Somewhere out there, a volcano might blow, Israeli commandos might decimate a Palestinian village. I couldn't stop it. I was going to sleep.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#22

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#22

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#22

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter Thirteen: Frankfurt, Door, Independent Operants

“I’ve read Rudin before, but that was fifteen years ago in university. Rereading it now, lying all bandaged up, sipping my whiskey in bed in the afternoon, I felt new sympathy for the protagonist Rudin. I almost never identify with anybody in Dostoyevsky, but the characters in Turgenev’s old-fashioned novels are such victims of circumstance, I jump right in. I have a thing about losers. Flaws in oneself open you up to others flaws. Not that Dostoyevsky’s characters don’t generate pathos, but they’re flawed in a way that don’t come across as faults.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#23

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#23

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#23

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter Fifteen: Whiskey, Torture, Turgenoev

“Kindness and a caring mind are two separate qualities. Kindness is manners. It is superficial custom, an acquired practice. Not so the mind. The mind is deeper, stronger, and, I believe, it is far more inconstant.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#24

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#24

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter 16: The Coming of Winter

“"You said that the mind is like the wind, but perhaps it is we who are like the wind. Knowing nothing, simply blowing through. Never aging, never dying"”

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#25

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter 16: The Coming of Winter

“Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in fight, searching the skies for dreams.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#26

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter 18:

“Once again, life had a lesson to teach me: It takes years to build up, it takes moments to destroy. Sure, I'd gotten tired of this tiny space, but I'd had a good home here. In the time it takes to swill two cans of beer, all had had sublimed like morning mist. My job, my whiskey, my peace and quiet, my solitude, my Sormerset Maugham, and John Ford collections-all of it trashed and worthless.”

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#27

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#27

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#27

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter 19: Hamburgers,Skyline and Deadline

““That's wrong," she declared. "Everyone must have one thing that they can excel at. It's just a matter of drawing it out, isn't it? But school doesn't know how to draw it out. It crushes the gift. It's no wonder most people never get to be what they want to be. They just get ground down.””

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#28

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Murakami, Haruki (2021, August 5) Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#28

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#28

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#28

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter 19: Hamburgers,Skyline and Deadline

“"You got to know your limits. Once is enough, but you got to learn. A little caution never hurt anyone. A good woodsman has only one scar on him. No more, no less."”

— Haruki Murakami

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#29

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html#29

Quote source: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985) Chapter 24: Shadow Grounds

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Murakami, Haruki (2021, August 5) Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html

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Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html

MLA Citation: Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Murakami, Haruki. “Haruki Murakami Quotes: 1–30 of 43 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Haruki-Murakami-quotes.html

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